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Hungerford Town v Dartford

Dartford travel to third place Hungerford Town this weekend in search of their first ever victory at Bulpit Lane.

The Darts are hoping to regain top spot after slipping to second on Tuesday night. Dorking Wanderer’s win in mid-week leaves Steve King’s side level on points with the Surrey club, but behind on goal difference. Hungerford Town have ambitions of their own knowing a win will leapfrog them above the Darts.

Bulpit Lane has not been a happy hunting ground for Dartford in recent years. Suffering defeat in their first three visits without scoring a goal. Last season, the only meeting between the two clubs, the Darts showed progress in a 2-2 draw. After Hungerford Town took the lead through Zidan Akers, Dartford hit back when Darren McQueen equalised and Luke Wanadio put the visitors in front. However, Dartford were denied their first win at the Crusaders and with two minutes left Conor Lynch levelled the match.

Steve King’s ruthless streak was rewarded last weekend with the signing of former Charlton Athletic striker Chris Dickson. The experienced 35-year-old scored twice on his debut against Slough Town. At National South level he has been a reliable source of goals most recently for Chelmsford City and Hampton and Richmond Borough. At AFC Hornchurch he has netted 30 goals in 46 games and has joined the Darts on dual registration. He has been added to the front line which now boasts loanee Alfie Pavey as well as Jack Barham, Elliott Romain and Charlie Sheringham. The squad now has extra depth up front where King feels the side need improving. For all Dartford’s creative play the Dartford manager believes they are lacking the finishing edge.

After a scrappy first half against Slough Town, King’s half-time team talk did wonders and so victory was just the tonic after the 1-0 home defeat to St Albans City. The Darts boss was pleased to get the side’s home form back on track, especially after defeat against Dorking Wanderers at Princes Park earlier in the month. Hungerford Town will provide another type of test on the road against a top three team, Dartford will want to lay down a marker.

It will come as a relief that this week Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong’s red card versus Slough Town has been rescinded, the midfielder has started every game this season and is a key player in the middle of the park. On the injury front, Ricky Modeste is out with a hairline fracture of the knee, whilst Craig Braham-Barrett, David Ijaha and Abdul Osman have been out in recent weeks. King has also been able to call upon goalkeeper Ethan Wady who got the nod over Craig King last weekend and Connor Essam has kept his place in the side, despite competition from Ronnie Vint. Luke Allen also made his first start of the campaign proving King will happily make changes.

Hungerford Town have turned the table upside down with their early season form. The Crusaders finished bottom of the National South last term and would have been relegated in any normal year. But 2020 is no normal year and the Berkshire club under the stewardship of Danny Robinson have won six of their opening nine games, they only won eight in 33 attempts last season.

The Crusaders have been here before, when they were one of the surprise packages after winning promotion. Hungerford Town finished their first ever campaign in the National South in sixth place and were denied a playoff spot due to ground regulations. Hit by the dreaded second season syndrome, the Berkshire side stayed up on the last day in the following two campaigns before finishing last in March.

Manager, Robinson won the F.A Vase with Thatcham Town and took them up the non-league pyramid, they were also on the verge of another promotion before the pandemic ended the 2019/2020 season. His appointment this summer has seen almost a new squad assembled. Ryan Seager is one of the new signings impressing, the striker has scored seven in nine games since joining from Yeovil Town.

Although early days, Hungerford Town have already proven they can mix it with the pace setters. Victory over league leaders Dorking Wanderers and a draw with unbeaten St Albans City have been added to victories against teams at the bottom end of the table, who they would have been competing with eight months ago.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 2 / Hungerford Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLWWLW)
Hungerford Town
(DWLWWL)
Slough TownH2-0St Albans CityA0-0
St Albans CityH0-1Slough TownA3-1
Maidstone UnitedA2-0Hampton & RichmondH0-1
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Braintree TownA2-1
Dorking WanderersH2-3Dorking WanderersH2-0
Havant & WaterloovileH2-1Ebbsfleet UnitedA2-3

Last Six Meetings

26.08.2019Hungerford Town2Dartford2
22.12.2018Dartford2Hungerford Town1
25.08.2018Hungerford Town1Dartford0
09.12.2017Hungerford Town1Dartford0
05.08.2017Dartford0Hungerford Town0
14.04.2017Hungerford Town2Dartford0

Stats

Dartford have never won at Bulpit Lane (D1, L3) and last season’s visit was the first time in four attempts in which the Darts managed to score.

The Darts have score in three of their seven meetings against the Crusaders, each time netting twice.

Tom Bonner made his 350th start in a Dartford shirt when he lined up against Slough Town. The defender is now on 352 appearances in total.

On This Day

Steve King faced his future employers five years ago and knocked them out of the F.A Trophy. His Whitehawk side came to Princes Park and won the third qualifying round tie 2-1. In that Whitehawk side that day was Craig Braham-Barrett and David Ijaha was an unused substitute. Danny Mills, Dave Martin and Paul Lorraine were other Dartford links involved in Whitehawk’s starting eleven. The last win for the Darts on this day was back in 1987 when they beat Dorchester Town 2-1 in the Southern Premier League. Since then the Darts drew a Southern League Southern Division fixture 0-0 with Ashford Town in 1998 and lost 1-0 at home to AFC Hornchurch, in the Isthmian Premier League in 2009 before the trophy exit in 2015.

Dartford v Slough Town

Dartford have the chance to avenge their F.A Cup exit against Slough Town when they host the Rebels for a second time this season on the weekend.

In unusual circumstances, the Darts opened their season in the F.A Cup losing to Saturday’s opponents. Jack McKnight’s last-minute penalty knocked Dartford out at the first hurdle, in the second qualifying round. Victory for Slough Town meant they redressed their own defeat against the Darts in July’s National South playoff eliminator.

Leading up to this weekend’s fixture, Dartford top the National South table by a point having played the most games in the division, thanks to their early cup exit. Steve King has managed to rack up the points in their first nine games, but they couldn’t add to their tally following a defeat at home to St Albans City on Tuesday night.

Charlie Sheringham making his first league start of the campaign was left to rue his second-half penalty miss as St Albans City won 1-0. A last minute strike from Shaun Jeffers was the difference between the two sides condemning the Darts to their second National South loss of the season.

Prior kick off the Darts announced the return of Alfie Pavey on a loan deal until the end of January from Barnet. The striker scored 29 goals in 55 appearances in a previous loan spell and during the 2017/2018 campaign, when he won the National South Player of the Year award. Gavin McCallum also made his first league start of the season replacing the injured Craig Braham-Barrett. Jack Barham was named on the bench alongside Pavey with the pair making an appearance later on.

Highlights of last season’s game at Prince Park courtesy of DFC TV

Slough Town opened their campaign by recording another 1-0 victory, after their F.A Cup win against the Darts. The triumph over Hemel Hempstead Town was followed by defeat at Dorking Wanderers and an F.A Cup exit of their own. What followed was a dramatic 4-4 with Welling United with the Rebels score two injury time goals to complete a comeback from 3-1 down in the last twenty minutes.

The Berkshire club approach this weekend’s fixture on the back of three straight defeats against Maidstone United, Billericay Town then Hungerford Town on Tuesday night.

The Rebels found themselves behind early in the game when Ryan Seager scored on six minutes, he also had another but his effort was ruled out for offside. Slough Town were forced to make a change when Cameron McGilp came off injured before Dan Roberts chipped in an equaliser. Parity lasted a short while because two minutes before the interval Seager scored again. Craig Fasanmade extended Hungerford Town’s lead to leave the Rebels sitting in fourteenth place in the National South.

Last season Dartford squandered a two-goal lead at Princes Park under the guidance of Tony Burman. Darren McQueen and Josh Hill scored within a couple of minutes of each other to hand the Darts a comfortable advantage. It took just another two minutes for Dan Roberts to set Slough Town on their way. The Rebels kept the momentum going in the second half and when Matt Lench then Ben Harris netted, the visitors went home with all three points.

In January, Slough Town completed a league double with a 1-0 home victory, in which Dartford’s Sanchez Ming was sent off. The third meeting between the two sides came in the playoff elimination round. A brace from Charlie Sheringham and Luke Wanadio’s strike helped the Darts progress with a 3-0 win.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 4 / Slough Town wins: 3 / Draws: 2

Current League Form

Dartford
(LWWLWW)
Slough Town
(LLLWDL)
St Albans CityH0-1Hungerford TownH1-3
Maidstone UnitedA2-0Billericay TownA0-2
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Maidstone UnitedH2-3
Dorking WanderersH2-3Bath CityH2-1
Havant & WaterloovileH2-1Welling UnitedH4-4
Chippenham TownA2-1Dorking WanderersA1-3

Last Six Meetings

03.10.2020Dartford0Slough Town1
19.07.2020Slough Town0Dartford3
18.01.2020Slough Town1Dartford0
28.09.2019Dartford2Slough Town3
16.02.2019Slough Town2Dartford2
08.12.2018Dartford1Slough Town1

Stats

Dartford’s only home win against Slough Town came 39 years ago in the F.A Trophy, the Darts won 4-1 in the first round

The Rebels are unbeaten in their three visits to Princes Park (W2, D1)

Dartford won their first three meetings with Slough Town, all cup ties. Since then the Darts have won just one in the last six (D2, L3)

On This Day

New loan signing Alfie Pavey scored a brace to keep Dartford top of National League South three years ago. In an entertaining 3-3 draw the Darts twice came from behind against Wealdstone thanks to Pavey before substitute Andy Pugh fired Dartford ahead with ten minutes left. However, the Stones levelled from the spot three minutes from time before Lee Noble saw red in stoppage time. In 2009, the Darts were knocked out of the F.A Trophy against rivals Dover Athletic. After falling a goal behind, Jay May and Danny Harris put the Darts in front, but Dartford conceded twice more in a 3-2 defeat. May also scored on this day in 2006 netting the winner against Leatherhead in the Isthmian Division One South.

Dartford v St Albans City

Dartford host unbeaten St Albans City on Tuesday night with the chance to increase their lead over their opponents.

The Darts extended their advantage at the top of the National South on the weekend after beating rivals Maidstone United. Victory took Steve King’s side four points clear at the summit, but St Albans City pose an early threat despite sitting in seventh place.

Ian Allinson’s team have only played five league games and in their solitary away day so far, the Saints dropped their only points of the campaign. On the weekend, whilst the Hertfordshire club had a day off, Dartford travelled to Maidstone United for their first Kent derby of the season.

Captain, Tom Bonner helped secure a third straight away win for the Darts on his 350th appearance for the club. Dartford’s clinical finishing was enough to separate the two sides. Bonner’s strike opened the scoring and a few minutes later, Charlie Sheringham made sure of the three points with Dartford’s second goal in a 2-0 derby day win.

Steve King labelled Saturday’s triumph as a ‘strong win’ and a ‘gritty performance’ when speaking to DFC TV. The Dartford boss praised the way his side adapted to the conditions throughout the afternoon, he explained: “A win is a win, you get three points. It was just one of those games where you just had to get through it basically”.

Dartford’s last home match against St Albans City courtesy of DFV TV

Dartford had to contend with the injury to left back Craig Braham-Barrett, but the versatility of the squad certainly helped. Jordan Wynter slipped into the full back position with David Ijaha coming into the holding midfield role. When the Darts chased a winner, Charlie Sheringham was able to come on as the side moved to a 4-3-3 formation. King commented: “With all that going on, they have done brilliantly to come away with a clean sheet and three points against a good side”.

Once again former players could feature against their previous club. Josh Hill and Luke Allen have made just three substitute appearances between them this season and both spent time at St Albans City. In the other camp, Tom Bender and Luke Warner-Eley return to Princes Park with the Saints. Bender played 16 times for the Darts, scored against Dartford in November 2016 and netted an own goal a year later.

Luke Warner-Eley made his Dartford debut against the Saints under Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle and went on to make six appearances, the defender featured in the 1-1 draw between the two sides at Princes Park last season. Saints top scorer last season, Joe Iaciofano scored for the visitors, but Luke Wanadio equalised in the second half. In the away fixture Dartford ended a four match losing streak at Clarence Park with a 2-1 victory, goals from Darren McQueen and Liam Nash.

St Albans City struggled last term and were in twentieth place when the season stopped. Like Dartford they lost their top scorer in the summer, and whilst the Darts have been able to spread their goalscorers out around the squad, the Saints have Shaun Jeffers top of their leaderboard with five. Ian Allinson has recruited well this term and results have shown an upturn in form.

A week ago, the Saints came from behind at Clarence Park to beat Braintree Town 2-1, their third consecutive win following home victories over Chippenham Town and Ebbsfleet United. On the opening day of the campaign they also won on their own patch, but their only away fixture in the National South ended in a 1-1 draw against Concord Rangers.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 9 / St Albans City wins: 5 / Draws: 5

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWLWWW)
St Albans City
(WWWDW)
Maidstone UnitedA2-0Braintree TownH2-1
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Chippenham TownH3-0
Dorking WanderersH2-3Ebbsfleet UnitedH3-2
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Concord RangersA1-1
Chippenham TownA2-1Hampton & RichmondH1-0
Bath CityH1-0

Last Six Meetings

07.03.2020St Albans City1Dartford2
06.08.2019Dartford1St Albans City1
12.01.2019Dartford3St Albans City2
01.09.2018St Albans City2Dartford0
03.02.2018St Albans City4Dartford0
28.10.2017Dartford2St Albans City1

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in their last three home matches against St Albans City (W2, D1)

The Darts have lost just once at home against the Saints in normal time, which was in November 2016 (W5, D4)

St Albans City have scored in each of their last nine games against the Darts and have kept five clean sheets in those matches.

Tom Bonner is the second highest scorer at the club (17) one ahead of Elliott Romain (16). Charlie Sheringham is now on 51 career goals for the Darts.

On This Day

Dartford’s academy team may have bowed out of the F.A Youth Cup first round this year against Metropolitan Police, but the senior team beat the Met in front of the Match of the Day cameras in 1984. Dartford won the first round tie 3-0 with now Braintree Town boss George Borg scoring a fine goal. The Darts went out at the next round against AFC Bournemouth, who subsequently lost to Manchester United in the next round, a year after the Cherries famously shocked the Red Devils.

Mark Arber played the majority of the match with a fractured cheekbone in Dartford’s last home game on this day. Elliot Bradbrook twice put the Darts ahead against Southport in the National League eight years ago, but the visitors equalised through Steve Akrigg and in the last minute, Karl Ledsham. Two years ago, Charlie Sheringham scored the only goal of the game as Dartford beat Hampton and Richmond Borough at the Beveree.

Maidstone United v Dartford

Top of the table is up for grabs in Dartford’s first Kent derby of the season when they visit Maidstone United on Saturday.

Steve King’s side are leading the way in the National South and another victory will keep Dartford at the summit. Defeat could see their local rivals replace them depending on other results in the division.

There is plenty of history between the two clubs including the triple header last season. The Darts put on a late show in the league almost a year to the day, coming from two down to snatch a draw. Quick fire second half goals from Danny Wishart and Ibby Akanbi had Maidstone United in charge at Princes Park right up until the closing stages. Tom Bonner bundled in a goal with four minutes to go and in the final minute Darren McQueen equalised.

Video highlights can be found on DFCTV

A week later, the pair were at it again but this time in the F.A Trophy third qualifying round, where they played out the same score. Elliott Romain scored twice against his old side cancelling out strikes from Wishart and Justin Amaluzor. The replay days afterwards was another tight contest and it was Iffy Allen who scored the only goal of the game, to send the Stones into the next round.  

Sick of the sight of each other, Dartford and Maidstone United were also paired up in the Kent Senior Cup second round in January. This time it was the Darts who progressed 1-0 with a Ky Marsh-Brown winner. Dartford went on to make the final, which is yet to be played.

Elliott Romain got off the mark on Tuesday night in Dartford’s 3-1 win over Hemel Hempstead Town. The striker played 37 times for Maidstone United scoring just four goals. Another former Stone, Jordan Wynter returned to the starting line up replacing Jazzi Barnum-Bobb. Wynter only made eight appearances at Maidstone United before joining the Darts. Ky Marsh-Brown and Connor Essam were the only other changes as Ronnie Vint and David Ijaha missed out.

Dartford bounced back from their 3-2 home defeat to Dorking Wanderers by moving to the top of the table. Connor Essam made his first start this season against his former club and opened the scoring, the central defender was pivotal in defence and could have ended up with a hat-trick. Jack Jebb also made an impact providing the set piece for Essam to head home and his assist set up the second, which went down as an own goal. Romain netted his first of the campaign before the break and in the second half, BJ Christie grabbed a consolation for Hemel Hempstead Town.

King spoke to DFC TV after the game and was delighted with his side’s first half performance, he said: “After the first ten minutes we grew into the game and were in total control. It’s as good as half I have seen from the lads for a long, long time”. Dartford’s boss called up Essam and highlighted his display as outstanding. With a strong squad King believes the defender “grabbed his opportunity with both hands”.

The result at Hemel Hempstead Town shows more improvements are being made. After a solid start built around a tight defence, the Darts are starting to be rewarded at the other end of the field, King commented: “Slowly we’re getting better, the goals are now coming in slowly and the goal difference is building up”.

Maidstone United have only suffered one league setback this term and are the top scorers in the division. The Stones last outing was a 3-2 victory at Slough Town with goals from Scott Rendell and George Porter, the pair are the club’s joint top scorer with three this season. They won by an even bigger margin in their last match at the Gallagher Stadium, thrashing F.A Trophy finalists Concord Rangers 6-0, putting their only defeat of the campaign to Chelmsford City behind them.

Maidstone United’s other victories include a 2-1 triumph in the Kent derby with Welling United and a 4-1 win against Hemel Hempstead Town. The Stones showed a never say die attitude in their fixture against Havant and Waterlooville last month scoring two injury time goals to draw from two down.

A Kent derby is always a difficult test and King points out this weekend and Tuesday night against St Albans City will be no different, he stated: “Maidstone United are doing really well and have had a really good start to the season, so it’s another really tough game. Then we’ve got St Albans who have also had a really good start, yet another top five side. It seems like we’re always playing a top five side at the moment”.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 45 / Maidstone United wins: 45 / Draws: 19

Current League Form

Dartford
(WLWWWD)
Maidstone United
(WWLWDW)
Hemel Hempstead TownA3-1Slough TownA3-2
Dorking WanderersH2-3Concord RangersH6-0
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Chelmsford CityA0-1
Chippenham TownA2-1Hemel Hempstead TownH4-1
Bath CityH1-0Havant & WaterloovilleA2-2
Hampton & RichmondA0-0Welling UnitedH2-1

Last Six Meetings

21.01.2020Maidstone United0Dartford1
26.11.2019Dartford0Maidstone United1
23.11.2019Maidstone United2Dartford2
16.11.2019Dartford2Maidstone United2
22.01.2019Dartford1Maidstone United1
09.04.2016Maidstone United1Dartford2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in seven league matches against Maidstone United (W5, D2).

In all competitions the Darts are unbeaten in five away games against the Stones (W4, D1)

Dartford have scored two or more goals in four consecutive league games for the first time since January.

Tom Bonner could make his 350th appearance for the Darts (347 starts and 2 substitute appearances). Josh Hill is currently on 49 games (45 starts and 2 appearances as substitute).

On This Day

It’s five years to the day that Dartford drew 1-1 with Maidstone United at Princes Park. Elliot Bradbrook scored a late equaliser against his old club even though his goal was ruled out at first. Future signing Alex Flisher had given the Stones the lead, but Dartford’s leveller was well deserved after hitting the woodwork three times during the match. Tony Sitford’s overhead kick, two minutes from time, earned Dartford a F.A Cup first round replay against Division Four side Aldershot, the Darts lost the replay 1-0. The last away fixture on this day was in 1989 when Dartford beat Wealdstone 4-0 in the Southern League Cup second round. The second leg ended 5-0 to secure a 9-0 aggregate win.

Hemel Hempstead Town v Dartford

Dartford are in action on Tuesday night hoping to start a new unbeaten run when they travel to Hemel Hempstead Town.

The Darts tasted their first defeat of the season on the weekend and their first in the league since February. Hosting a strong Dorking Wanderers side, Dartford were haunted by their former striker Jason Prior once again. The Darts fell to a 3-2 loss in which they pegged the visitors back twice.

Two former Havant and Waterlooville players netted for Dorking Wanderers with Wes Fogden opening the scoring. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong equalised only for Prior to add another goal to his career tally against Dartford. Jack Jebb levelled for the hosts with a free-kick and with 15 minutes to go Matthew Briggs won it for Wanderers. It had been almost a year since the Darts last conceded three under Steve King.

King felt the Darts “were the better side”, but lacked the finishing touch, he spoke to Dartford FC TV and said: “If there is only one criticism on us, for all the good approach play we didn’t work the goalkeeper enough. We had the majority of the game, we penned them back in their own half and they couldn’t get out”.

Despite defeat it has still been a decent start to the season for Dartford, their best for 11 years when they went on to claim the Isthmian Premier League crown. King’s side will be determined to “bounce back” and begin another unbeaten run to extend their good record over Hemel Hempstead Town.

However, the Dartford boss doesn’t expect life to be easy on Tuesday night, he commented: “It will be a different test and a tough test as well now because they went away to Bath and won 2-1. I know Bath are not having the greatest of times right now, but it’s very hard to go away and win at Bath”, he added: “They’ve obviously got capabilities within their group and I’ve seen that when I went to watch them at Billericay Town, even though they lost it wasn’t a 4-1 game. So we need to get back on it and I’m sure we will”.

Craig Braham-Barrett has started every game this season for the Darts and another start will see the full-back face his former club. The defender was at Vauxhall Road last season with Connor Essam, making 20 appearances for the Tudors, whilst Essam made 33 appearances. Striker, Charlie Sheringham has also represented Hemel Hempstead Town in his past, playing a total of 31 games and scoring 15 goals in 2017 and 2018.

Dartford made just one change in their defeat against Dorking Wanderers due to Moussa Bakayoko’s injury. Whilst Luke Allen returned to action after almost a year without competitive action for the club. Jordan Wynter and Ky Marsh-Brown were also named on the bench after recovering from injury. King hinted some changes to the team will be needed considering the Darts also have their first Kent derby of the campaign coming up, on Saturday against second place Maidstone United.

Hemel Hempstead Town appointed Lee Bircham as manager in July after an impressive season with Berkhamsted, in the Southern League Division One Central. Guiding the Comrades to the top of the table, they held a one-point lead with ten games remaining before the campaign was halted.

The new boss is still searching for the right formula having made nineteen changes in his team selection over the six league games so far. The campaign started with a narrow 1-0 loss to Slough Town, but since then Hemel Hempstead Town have been fragile in defence. Three 4-1 defeats to Eastbourne Borough, Maidstone United and Billericay Town and their first win of the season, which was 4-3 over Braintree Town, has seen the Hertfordshire side leak goals.

After the Tudors third straight reverse, Bircham delved into the loan market to bring in Queens Park Rangers pair, Stephen Duke-McKenna and Nathan Carlyle, who spent some time out on loan at Concord Rangers recently. Former, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Chris Paul was also added to the squad from Havant and Waterlooville. The trio made their league debuts in Hemel Hempstead Town’s National South win at Braintree Town.

On Saturday, they travelled to Bath City and were much tighter at the back conceding just once and went on to record their second victory. The Tudors beat the Romans 2-1 to climb up to twelfth with Reggie Young winning a penalty and scoring the decisive goal. Matt Bateman equalised from the spot after Bath City’s Donovan Wilson gave the hosts the lead, then Young claimed the winner with ten minutes to go.

Last season, Dartford only played Hemel Hempstead Town once which ended in a 1-1 draw at Princes Park. Norman Wabo cancelled out Sam Ashford’s goal and Adam Cunnington missed a penalty. The Darts last visit to Vauxhall Road was in March 2019 and the game only came to life in the closing ten minutes. Phil Roberts scored a brace either side of Jordan Parkes’ penalty in a 2-1 victory.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 5 / Hemel Hempstead Town wins: 1 / Draws: 4

Current League Form

Dartford
(LWWWDW)
Hemel Hempstead Town
(WLWLLL)
Dorking WanderersH2-3Bath CityA2-1
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Billericay TownH1-4
Chippenham TownA2-1Braintree TownA4-3
Bath CityH1-0Maidstone UnitedA1-4
Hampton & RichmondA0-0Eastbourne BoroughH1-4
Chelmsford CityH1-0Slough TownA0-1

Last six Meetings

31.08.2019Dartford1Hemel Hempstead Town1
05.03.2019Hemel Hempstead Town1Dartford2
11.08.2018Dartford0Hemel Hempstead Town0
17.03.2018Dartford3Hemel Hempstead Town2
26.08.2017Hemel Hempstead Town0Dartford3
01.04.2017Hemel Hempstead Town2Dartford2

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in eight matches against Hemel Hempstead Town (W4, D4).

The Darts have won in their last two visits at Vauxhall Road.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s only win over the Darts came on the first day of the 2015/2016 season.

On This Day

Tom Bonner scored the second goal on a famous day for the Darts eight years ago. Dartford went to Kenilworth Road and beat Luton Town 2-0, Lee Noble netted the opener. In ten of the last 12 games on this day Dartford have scored two goals, but their last victory before 2012 was 39 years earlier. A third consecutive 2-0 win on 10 November was completed in a 1981 Kent Senior Cup tie against Welling United, in 1979 the Darts defeated Bognor Regis Town and in 1973 they beat Barnet. Between the Welling United and Luton Town triumphs, Dartford lost three and drew two.

Dartford v Dorking Wanderers

Dartford remain top of the National South after victory last weekend and a win at home to Dorking Wanderers on Saturday will keep them at the summit.

Jack Barham, the two-goal hero against Havant and Waterlooville will face his former club where he scored seven times in his six-month spell. The striker opened his Dartford goalscoring account with a well taken penalty and a glancing header to earn his side a 2-1 win over the Hawks, one of the title favourites.

Speaking to www.kentonline.co.uk after the match Barham feels the Darts are the ‘perfect club’ for him. The 24-year-old who has worked with manager Steve King at Welling United was pleased to get his first goals for Dartford, he said: “I’m delighted to get off the mark and now I can focus on kicking on with my season and picking up results as well”, he added: “I’m really enjoying it. I’m getting loads of chances, the set-up is fantastic and perfect for me. I’ve got a great team behind me”.

Highlights courtesy of DFCTV

Unbeaten in the National South with four wins from five, manager King is impressed with the attitude of the squad and knows they are capable of better performances, he told DFC TV: “When I looked at the fixtures the first six were like a baptism of fire. We’re not playing fantastic but we’re playing good in spells. To get 13 out of 15 points against the teams we’ve played is a very good start considering we could have had the hangover from the playoff final defeat and feel sorry for ourselves, but we have not”. Barham echoes his manager’s comments adding: “I know we’re going to be up there challenging for the title. The aim is to get promotion again”.

Standing in Dartford’s way on Saturday will be Dorking Wanderers who impressed in their first campaign in the National South last season. Finishing seventh to reach the playoffs, the Wanderers also made the last 16 of the F.A Trophy upsetting Stockport County on the way. This season began with the Surrey side making a perfect start in their first three games taking maximum points and scoring ten goals. An opening day 3-0 win at Eastbourne Borough was followed up with a 3-1 home victory over Slough Town and a comprehensive 4-0 triumph away at Braintree Town.

Last weekend, Marc White’s side lost to Dartford’s closest competitors Hungerford Town. The 2-0 defeat leaves Dorking Wanderers where they finished last season, they and are now four points behind the Darts with a game in hand. Over the summer, White introduced some experience to the squad with the arrival of former Gillingham midfielder Barry Fuller as well as Wes Fogden, Alfie Rutherford, Ed Harris who were all part of the Havant and Waterlooville squad who pipped Dartford to the National South title in 2018 to claim back to back promotions.

Former players: Jack Barham and Jason Prior face their previous clubs

Returning to Princes Park eleven years to the day since a hat-trick against the Darts, will be former Dartford striker Jason Prior. Whilst he managed just two goals in 24 appearances for Dartford in both his spells with the club, he has caused more problems as an opponent. Before joining the Darts, he netted a hat-trick for Bognor Regis Town at Princes Park, he scored the last-minute title clinching goal for Havant and Waterlooville and a penalty for the Wanderers last season also at Princes Park. He has started this season with three league goals in four games.

If the last two meetings are anything to go by then a feast of goals await. The two sides shared 12 goals in this fixture last term with the away side winning on both occasions. Dorking Wanderers won 4-3 in September and the Darts won the reverse match 3-2 in January this year. With Tony Burman in temporary charge after the departure of Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle four days before kick-off, the Darts were narrowly beaten at Princes Park. Dorking’s Niall McManus scored from long range before Ben Greenhalgh scored twice. The game was level once more when Prior netted from the spot in first half stoppage time. Charlie Sheringham put the Darts in front, but two late goals from Giuseppe Sole and James McShane either side of Lee Noble’s red card sealed the win for the visitors.

The meeting in January was just as dramatic with Darren McQueen scoring a last-minute winner. Dartford threw away a two-goal lead created by McQueen’s penalty and Elliot Romain’s strike. Dorking Wanderers pegged Dartford back when Jimmy Muitt then Luke Moore scored. McQueen popped up with the decisive goal at the end to claim three points for the Darts.

Head to Head

Dartford wins: 1 / Dorking Wanderers wins: 1 / Draws: 0

Current League Form

Dartford
(WWWDW)
Dorking Wanderers
(LWWW)
Havant &WaterloovileH2-1Hungerford TownA0-2
Chippenham TownA2-1Braintree TownA4-0
Bath CityH1-0Slough TownH3-1
Hampton & RichmondA0-0Eastbourne BoroughA3-0
Chelmsford CityH1-0

Previous Meetings

04.01.2020Dorking Wanderers2Dartford3
07.09.2019Dartford3Dorking Wanderers4

Stats

Dartford are unbeaten in nine National South matches stretching back to 22 February (W7, D2).

The Darts have made their best start to a league campaign since winning the Isthmian Premier League in 2009/2010, when they also won four and drew one of their opening five fixtures.

Josh Hill is one game away from making his 50th Dartford appearance (45 starts and 4 substitute appearances).

On This Day

Jason Prior scored a Princes Park hat-trick for Bognor Regis Town in an entertaining 3-3 draw. The Darts went on to win the Isthmian Premier League, whist Bognor Regis Town were relegated, making Prior’s performance more remarkable. Danny Harris and Billy Burgess scored for Dartford that day with Harris grabbing a brace. On this day Dartford have only lost once at home and that was in 1936 against Margate in the Southern League Midweek Section. In total they have won 6, drew 2 and lost 1 at home on 7 November, the most recent victory was back in 1987 against Redditch United, the Southern Premier League fixture ending 3-2. In 1981, the Darts beat Frickley Athletic 1-0 in the Alliance League and in 1964 they triumphed over Cheltenham Town 2-0, also in the Southern Premier League. Other results at home on this day include a 0-0 friendly draw with Fifth Northern Fusiliers (1903), a 3-0 Southern League Division Two win over Uxbridge (1896) and a 7-1 victory in a friendly against Thorburn Rovers (1891).